Country Overview - Coalfields
Thar Coalfield Block VI
The Thar Coalfield is located 380 kilometres from Karachi, and covers a total area of 9,100 square kilometers, with a total lignite coal resource in excess of 175 billion tonnes. The coalfield is in close proximity to good infrastructure, with ongoing development of a road and power network in the region.
The China North East Geological Survey Bureau ("CNGB") drilled 35 boreholes at Block VI, totalling 9,852 metres, of which 5,986 metres has been cored. From the drilling, 273 lignite samples were analysed for quality. The drilling indicated that Block VI is focused on a seam with a cumulative thickness of between 16-30 meters at a depth of less than 150 metres. The quality of the lignite coal gives an average heating value of 3,182 kcal/kg, with a high moisture, low ash and sulphur content of less than 1 percent. The depth of the coal seam makes Block VI amenable to opencast mining.
Oracle Coalfields established an MOU with KESC for when the coal mine would be able to produce 1.75 million tonnes of coal per annum for a 300MW coal-fired mine-mouth power plant, which could be increased to 1,100MW, over time. A seven borehole drilling programme was undertaken by the company to validate all historical drilling results of CNGB, and enabled the company’s UK-based independent coal consultants, Dargo Associates Ltd, to define a 1.4 billion resource covering an area of 66.1 km² of licensing area.
Since May 2008 Oracle has been working on a strategy to take the licence forward toward production. Accordingly Oracle is working towards the completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study. Work for the BFS commenced with subcrop drilling, followed by hydrogeology and geotechnical and geophysical reports, the environmental and social impact assessment of the licensed area is currently being undertaken by Wardell Armstrong International. SRK Consulting has been appointed to undertake the BFS and supervise the drilling programme. The additional drilling programme was initiated in September 2010 for the purpose of a full feasibility study and definitive mine design and was completed in February 2011. 27 geological boreholes were drilled, these comprising four fully cored boreholes, fourteen part cored boreholes and nine open holes. All boreholes and water wells have been geophysically logged using Gamma, Long and Short Spaced Density, Spontaneous Potential (SP) and Single Point Resistance (SPR) logs. Rock core samples were collected from the fully and part cored boreholes for geotechnical testing at the Structural Soils Laboratory in Bristol, UK and for geochemical analysis at Scientifics Laboratory, UK All testing is under ASTM standard. The results of the recent drilling programme indicate cumulative thickness of 16-39m, with a continuous lignite section ranging from 5.6m to 22.9m. In total, 13 discreet lignite horizons have been recorded. Total 6157.99 meters of drilling was completed. Some 500 selected ground points, borehole locations and water well locations have being surveyed for position and elevation, in order to give a realistic topographic profile and datum points for borehole depths.
The hydrogeological programme was devised and overseen by RPS Aquaterra of Australia and local contractor was engaged for the hydrogeology drilling programme. Four test wells and four observation wells were constructed. These wells were tested to determine the hydrogeological characteristics of the upper, middle and lower aquifers, with special reference to the volumes of water required to be pumped out to allow mining, and to variations in groundwater flow within the designated mine area. Samples of the groundwater have been tested at Bahria University laboratory in Karachi for chemical analysis.
Furthermore, eleven Standard Penetration Test (SPT) holes and five trial pits were drilled to determine the exact strength and cohesion of the soils/rocks that will immediately underlie the out of pit dump area and form the top part of the mine walls.
We look forward to keeping investors regularly updated on the progress of the BFS.
Indus East Coalfield
The area covered by the Exploration Licence is in the Indus East coalfield, situated to the east of the River Indus, 140 km east-northeast of Karachi and 66 km south of Hyderabad in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan. The license is currently held under abeyance.
Reserves and Resources
Oracle Coalfields following further drilling has taken the Block VI Thar Coalfield project to 529 million tonnes JORC mineral resources covering an area of 20 km² under a two phased programme. Phase I has proven reserve of 113 million tonnes to be proven once mining lease is issued.